Air Quality Management and Climate Change Series: Air Quality Policies in Europe – An Overview

"How did European countries develop Air Quality Management from a city/local focus to national, European and even beyond Europe’s borders?"

In this session, the speaker Till Spranger, Senior Advisor, Regional Air Pollution Control, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany shares his air shed-based experiences in Europe and how European countries have gradually devel... view more


Air Pollution in EU - An Introduction: EU air quality is improving. Between 1990 and 2015 emissions of NOx decreased by 56%, and SO2 emissions even by 89%. Still there are Health impacts, Economic impacts and Environmental impacts. 


EU Policy Framework: How do you set objectives for air quality standards? The Bite breaks down the policy framework through Ambient Air Quality Directives, National Emissions Ceilings Directive, and Source-specific Emission Standard while highlighting examples of source specific performance standards.


Implementation of the NEC Directive: What do you need when you have the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) or need to enforce reduction commitments? Watch the Bite video to learn about Germany's National Air Pollution Control Program. 


The UNECE Air Convention Structure: UNECE Air Convention encompassing Europe, North America and Northern Asian countries, and is the only regional convention on air pollution that has strong legal requirements. The convention is a two-way dialogue between Science and Policy. 


Q&A 1: Is there no cost-burden sharing in the EU? How does Germany manage emissions at a sub-national level? What mechanisms -  sticks and/or incentives, does the country put in place? What can countries such as India learn from sub-national level policies in Europe and the United States?


Q&A 2: Do financial provisions such as soft loans help developing countries transition towards emission ceilings or is it pure enforcement and penalty? How do you deal with source-specific emission standards when sectors are not organized and consists of small and medium scale industries?

About the Presenters

Till Spranger

Senior Advisor, Regional Air Pollution Control, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany

Till Spranger works at the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, in the division on air pollution control and ambient air quality. He represents Germany in the UN ECE Air Convention, is national focal point on air pollution for UN Environment, and negotiated the EU Directive on national emission reduction commitments for Germany.

He has worked in the framework of the UN ECE Air Convention for 25 years.  Inter alia, he chaired the Task Force on Modeling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels, served as the Convention´s vice-chair, and is now vice-chair of the Working Group on Strategies and Review, the Convention´s negotiating body.